Swanson Elementary September News

September 1st, 2023

Dear Swanson Families,

What a great kickoff to our 23-24 school year. I have loved seeing all of the students and families. It has been awesome to see so many familiar faces!

We are getting to the of our "set up routines," time in the classrooms and have moved into full on instruction. Soon we, will be doing our Fall assessments for MAP and Aimsweb. This will give us data for setting up our skills blocks to best meet the needs of students. Once we conclude the assessments, we will take the first step that you will see in the Alaska Reads Act. We will be in communication with all parents of students who are performing below grade level. We will be mailing letters, but also calling and scheduling meetings on what we are doing to help your student improving their reading, and what you can do at home. This is a part of the objective of having all students proficient in Reading by the end of 3rd grade State-wide.

You will also receive information in the near future about our upcoming personal safety lessons. These are a part of the Alaska Safe Children's Act, and required as a part of our Board Policy 6142.02. The lessons are: Kindergarten - Unit 5: My Body is Special, Lesson 4: Safe and Unsafe Touches; Grade 1- Unit 6: Happy, Sad and In-between, Lesson 4: My Body is

Private; Grade 2 – Unit 5: When I Feel Afraid, Lesson 4: Your Body is Private. Please contact myself or the nurse if you would like to review the material ahead of time. If it is still your desire for your student not to participate in these lessons, please email me directly at joshua.rockey@matsuk12.us

In October, we will begin some of our before and after school activities. Look for information on those in the near future. :-)

I wish you all a restful Labor Day and 3 day weekend!


Joshua Rockey

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The 2nd Cup with Josh Rockey

Join Josh Rockey for a 2nd cup on the second Wednesday of the month starting on September 13th.

Topics for this meeting will be: PLC and ALICE drills at Swanson, and whatever is on parents' minds. :)

No school for all students and staff September 4th

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We conduct safety drills several times throughout the year. Our Alice drill, is our intruder drill in the unfortunate event should someone come on campus with the intent to hurt students or staff.

We will let you know the date of the drill in the near future. I will invite you to come participate with us the ways we help kids stay safe and help keep themselves safe :-).

Students may come home talking about a wolf drill. We read a book called I'm not Scared, I'm prepared! by Julia Cook. In the book the intruder is a wolf. Here is a great introductory video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRTIpMft_u8 This drill is completed twice a year, at the beginning of each semester. Also each semester we conduct earthquake drills and bomb threat drills.

October Drills include:



Bomb Threat


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Picture day is on September 14th

Flyers will be sent home with students starting next week Tuesday, Sept. 5th

Scholastic Book Fair October 16-25

Watch for more information about Swanson's fall book fair!
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The grace period will be ending in September for those who have not yet reapplied, for the Free and Reduced Meal Program. You can check your child's balances, or add additional money in SchoolCafe under the Nutrition Services Department.


  • Parents can submit applications to enroll their student(s) in the free and reduced meal program. Applications should be submitted annually and may be completed online through SchoolCafe or via printable meal application. Paper applications cannot be submitted via email or fax, but must be submitted to the student's school or directly to Nutrition Services (690 E Cope Industrial Way, Palmer, AK 99645).

    The application process will require the following information be provided:

    • Total household size
    • Income for all household members (Income guidelines are available here)NSLP Alaskan Income Guidelines 2023-24
    • Student name(s)
    • Additional information that is helpful, though not required, includes the student's birth date, enrolled school, and MSBSD ID number

    Questions regarding the application process can be directed to (907) 861-5100.

School drop off and pick up times

9:00 - First Bell, Come on in!

9:15 - Time to Start Learning!

3:45 - Final Bell, We'll See you Tomorrow!

** On Monday's ONLY**

10:00- First Bell

10:15- Time to Start Learning!

3:45- Final Bell

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South entrance drop off and pick up procedures

  • South entrance doors are open from 9:00 to 9:15. After 9:15 please come to the front parking lot, park, and walk your child into the building.
  • Please remain in your vehicle. There will be a staff member to help your child enter or exit safely from the right side of the car only.
  • Pull all the way forward past the pillars to minimize traffic backing up onto Gulkana. Watch for a staff member for direction.
  • Please use the South entrance line to drop off/pick up your student. The front parking lot is reserved for parents walking in their students to the front office only.
  • Dismissal starts at 3:45. There will be staff members to safely assist students into vehicles. Please be advised, you may be asked for identification if you are new to Swanson or not recognized by a staff member.
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School Dismissal

We have good news! For your convenience, Swanson Elementary utilizes an on-line dismissal management system. It is dependable, easy-to-use, and can be updated by parents and guardians from the convenience of their smart phones, tablets, and PCs. We are encouraging parents/guardians to make all transportation changes through the School Dismissal Manager.


Click below to access School Dismissal Manager:


If you have questions, contact the Front Office for more information.

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We would love to see you!

There are many different opportunities where we can utilize parent volunteers. Please call the office at 907-861-5300 with any questions, or to discuss the various ways to help Swanson. Thank you!
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Want to work at the best school in the district?

Swanson is looking for subs!


    1. Submit online application. APPLY HERE
    2. Complete hire paperwork and submit to HR.
    3. Complete required Substitute Orientation training.
    4. Custodial Services and Food Service have separate orientation and interviews.
      To contact Food Services call 907-861-5100.
      To contact Custodial Services call 907-864-2011.

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Dear parents

There are occasions when students need a change of clothing. If you have stretchy pants or winter gear to donate, please consider the nurse’s office.

If you happen to be a recipient of “NURSE” clothing, please make sure to return so that others may use.


If your child has any known allergies please make me aware so we can work together to keep them safe.

Health Conditions

If your child suffers from any medical conditions, please make sure to include that in your child's registration. If you have already registered your child, you are still able to go in and add the information. It is very important that I am made aware of any concerns or conditions your child has.

Illness Symptoms:

If your child is experiencing chills, fever of 100* or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, congestion/runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste of smell, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, headache, muscle/joint/body aches, or fatigue please keep them at home.

Please contact the school nurse if your child experiences any of these symptoms at home and we will work together to find the proper date of return.

Health Screenings:

Students in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades, along with all new-to-district students will have a standard health screening by the school nurse which will include height, weight, blood pressure, vision, and hearing. These screenings will occur throughout the school year as able.

Are you an RN? Are you looking to supplement your income? Look into subbing for the district- You are able to pick the days and schools you work for! I would be willing to orient you if you would like. We can always use more sub nurses!!

If you are a Registered Nurse looking for volunteer hours for renewal of your license, please contact me also! We can conduct health screenings and get you your hours.

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The MSBSD enjoys partnerships with community parent groups, service clubs, social service agencies, and many other community organizations. Community event and flyer information is shared as a courtesy to these partners in a variety of ways, including posting on school bulletin boards, in school newsletters, and through our MSBSD Public Information Office.

Use this link https://www.matsuk12.us/Page/26223 to see what's happening for kids in the Mat-Su Valley. Schools, parents and other community stakeholders may download, read, or print informational flyers distributed for sharing to all schools each week.